US War Secretary Esper in Iraq

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US War Secretary Esper in Iraq

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

US forces occupy Iraq, its sovereignty lost to Pentagon/CIA control, treating the nation as a vassal state.

Big Oil and other corporate predators are looting its resources, its people exploited, impoverished, and otherwise abused, their misery for decades because of US imperial designs on the country.

Hundreds of US troops illegally occupying northern Syria were redeployed cross-border to Iraq.

On Wednesday, Trump regime war secretary Mark Esper met with US-installed puppet/Iraqi prime minister Adel Abd-al-Mahdi in Baghdad.

Talks had nothing to do with “reaffirm(ing) the strategic security partnership between the United States and…Iraq,” as the US war department falsely claimed.

The meeting had everything to do with asserting US demands, wanting Iraq used as a platform for endless regional imperial wars, including in its own territory by Pentagon/CIA-controlled ISIS foot soldiers.

The so-called US/Iraq “bilateral relationship” is all about exploiting the country, its resources and people to serve US geopolitical and monied interests.

Esper falsely claimed it’s about “promot()ing) stability throughout the Middle East,” a notion both wings of the US war party abhor, notably in nations targeted for regime change, as well as in client states like Iraq, enforcing a permanent state of instability and chaos to unjustifiably justify permanent occupation.

Esper pretended the Pentagon’s mission in Iraq also aims “to defeat the…threat of ISIS” — the scourge created, supported and controlled by Pentagon and CIA officials.

No “US support for a secure and sovereign Iraq” exists. Peace, stability, and sovereign independent countries free from US control defeat its imperial aims.

Endless wars, related violence, instability, and chaos serves them.

Most Iraqi parliamentarians abhor US occupation of the country’s territory. Its ruling authorities permit it. 

On Wednesday, Mahdi said US forces shifted cross-border from Syria to northern Iraq have no permission to stay there, adding:

His regime is taking “all international legal measures” against their presence.

“We have issued an official statement, saying that and are taking all international legal measures. We ask the international community and the United Nations to perform their roles in this matter.”

Thousands of US forces and private military contractors already occupy Iraq, what no sovereign state should permit.

After Esper met with Mahdi on Wednesday, Iraqi defense minister Najah al-Shammari said US forces entering the country from Syria would depart in four weeks, adding:

They’d likely be sent to Kuwait, Qatar, elsewhere in the region, or return to the US. It’s unclear how long they’ll stay in Iraq or what mission the Pentagon has in mind for them — clearly nothing related to regional peace and stability.

During a Monday cabinet meeting, Trump said: “We’re bringing our troops back home. I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home,” adding: 

“Now, it’s not very popular within the beltway because, you know, Lockheed doesn’t like it. And these great military companies don’t like it. It’s not very popular.”

“When I said we’re bringing our soldiers back home, the place went crazy. But within the beltway, you know, people don’t like it. It’s much tougher for me. Be much easier for me to let our soldiers be there. Let them continue to die.”

So far this year, Trump OK’d thousands more US troops to Saudi Arabia, a nation facing no foreign threats if ceases its aggression in Yemen.

No US forces in the Middle East returned home on DJT’s watch — other than replacing troops whose tours of duty expired with new ones. 

Shifting their regional locations occurred — Trump’s rhetoric indicating one thing, his agenda another.

Endless wars he inherited rage, along with economic terrorism on Iran and Venezuela — aggression by other means against sovereign states threatening no one.

Separately, German war minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) called for thousands of EU/NATO troops to (illegally) occupy northern Syria, urging establishment of what she called “an internationally controlled safe zone, involving Russia and Turkey.”

If initiated with German troops, it could be the nation’s first post-WW II foreign occupation — illegally against a sovereign state, wanting all uninvited foreign forces out of the country, notably US, NATO, and Turkish ones.

Asked about AKK’s proposal, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov downplayed the idea. Throughout years of war, Russia expressed strong support for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, clearly its current position.

According to the Russian Council for Foreign Policy think tank’s Ruslan Mamedov, “(t)he official Russian position is that all foreign troops must leave Syria. I do not believe any sort of safe zone under the joint control of EU countries and Russia will develop.”

Establishing it would require Security Council authorization, likely only if Damascus concurs, what’s highly unlikely, wanting sovereignty over all its territory restored.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.